2 February 2012

Spaghetti Cups

In New Zealand, where I live, there is this staple food.  It's called spaghetti.  And I'm not talking about dried pasta that you cook to al dente, and serve with a variety of sauces.  I'm talking about spaghetti out of a can, it comes already soft and soggy, with a delicious tomato sauce.  It's one of my favourite things, I've eaten it my whole life.  It's incredibly versatile, and amazing.  It's like the little sister of baked beans.  Everything you can do with baked beans, you can do with spaghetti from a can; on toast, in a toasted sandwich, as a pizza sauce base, heated up straight from the can, in casseroles, in meatloaf, on meat pies, anything.

When I lived overseas, that was one thing I missed a great deal was spaghetti from a can.  We used to even (and I'm not kidding or exaggerating) get trays of the cans sent over to Malaysia especially.  And we were frugal, we used it sparingly, to make it last as long as possible (we lived in Malaysia for 3 years) because it was hard to get the trays sent over.

So, my spaghetti of choice (because there are many brands available here) is Watties Spaghetti.  Just the plain original stuff (none of the crap with the added cheese, bacon, or sausages... ick!).  Now in most of the recipes I make, I'm going to try not to use specific brands, but honestly, there is NOTHING like Watties Spaghetti, so this is an occasion where I am going to break my own rules.  :)

Now this recipe, it's so simple.  You make bread cups.  You fill them.  You bake them.  You eat them.  YES.  Simplicity at its finest.

12 slices of bread (white, multigrain, whatever you have)
50g butter (I thought, golly that's a lot, but you do use it all!)
1 x 300g can Watties Spaghetti (or baked beans, if you'd really prefer!)
Grated cheese
1 onion, finely diced
Some ham, cut into small pieces

  • Preheat oven to 180 deg C (aka moderate oven).
  • Cut the crusts from the bread (and keep aside... I'll tell you why later!) and brush one side of each slice with a little melted butter - I used a rubbery pastry brush - super easy!
  • Push the bread buttered side down into 12 muffin tins and bake for 15 mins, or until golden and crispy - depends how you like your toast.
  • Meanwhile, mix the can of Spaghetti with diced onion and ham (and anything else you fancy adding!)
  • Fill the bread cups evenly with a spoonful of the mixture, and then top with grated cheese
  • Pop them back in the oven for another 15 mins, or until the filling is hot and the cheese is melted and golden and amazing. 

And now, you stuff your face!  Haha but seriously, how easy is that?  And delicious.  They're almost like little pizza cups.  I love that they make a good lunch item, I'm definitely going to make these during the week this year to take to uni for cheap lunches.  I'll let you in on a little secret, they're also really nice cold!  So you don't even have to worry about heating them up!  BONUS!  

And who says this is just a lunch item?  Go NUTS.  Crack some egg in there, or bacon, or heck, just eat one of these ones for breakfast!  And the range of fillings... my goodness.  Baked beans, shredded chicken, cheese, and BBQ sauce make amazing fillings too!  Use your imagination!  Perfect.

Recipe inspiration: http://www.foodinaminute.co.nz/Recipes/Mini-Spaghetti-Pies

Edit: OH SNAP! I forgot to tell you what I did with the leftover crusts.  I thought this was very clever and resourceful of me, because cutting the crusts off 12 pieces of bread seemed like a waste.  So.  I got a flat oven tray, drizzled some oil in the bottom, tossed the crusts in there, shook 'em around a bit to make sure they all got some oil, and chucked that in the oven when the bread cups were first in the oven.  VOILA breadsticks!  I took them out when golden, and they are going to be PERFECT for dipping in anything dippy, like hummus, or other fancyful dips!  YAY! :)  Much better than buying breadsticks for $6 a box (or something equally ridiculous)!

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